By Cynthia Littleton
I'm going to have to sleep on the "Mad Men" finale. The last two segs of this season were so unlike the final hours oflast season. I guess it would have been hard to top the emotional punch of the season three closers so they went in adifferent direction.
Like everyone else at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, I'm scratching my head at Don's sudden nuptials, which were oneof two big reveals in the finale, "Tomorrowland," penned by Jonathan Igla and Matthew Weiner and directed by Weiner.
I knew there was trouble brewing as soon as he recruited Megan as babysitter for his trip. But I didn't anticipate this move, even though in hindsight was telegraphed with a neon sign through Anna's bequest to Don of her engagement ring from the real Don Draper. I guess he took at as a sign from her that he should try to find someone who makes him happy, and Megan was the closest someone with a great figure and a pretty face. Hmmmm.
I should've known that he'd go and break my heart. After the opening scene I was really rooting for him to make it work with Faye, a woman strong enough to deal with his deep dark secret and to tell Don to his unshaven face "take your head out of the sand and resolve some of that." But I did note that Don's parting words to Faye in that scene,
"I'm going to miss you," weren't exactly full of fiery passion.
I expected Betty to be upset at the news of Don's engagement, but I didn't expect it to hit Peggy so hard. I suppose she's thinking of her own status in the marriage department. And I think she got upset when Joan snarked that Don will probably make Megan a copywriter.
The scene between Don and Betty at the house was very good, for Jon Hamm and January Jones. You could feel Betty's regret and sadness at the loss of the last vestige (other than the kids) of their life together, the house in Ossining. You could see it in the way she was charmed that Don still found his old stash of whisky tucked away in the kitchen cupboard. When she hands him the key and they walk in different directions out of the kitchen -- that was probably the most emotional moment of the episode.
Most fun moment might've been the venting scene between Joan and Peggy -- nice to see them leaning on each other rather than fighting. Joan's big reveal about having kept the baby conceived with Roger was a shock, though it probably shouldn't have been. But the surprise for me comes in how she's committed to living out a huge lie with Greg now, and Joan usually seems to have a pretty strong moral center. Hopefully, she'll take some of the firm's work for the American Cancer Society and give the cigs a rest while she's preggers.
Loved seeing Carla put Betty in her place after Betty loses it and fires her loyal housekeeper/nanny over Glen's visit to Sally: "You need to stop talking now."
Betty's impulsive anger and cruelty is costing her big with Henry, who's obviously increasingly fed up with the child-woman he married.
Most of all I think I loved seeing a bit of "Mad Men" shot in Pann's restaurant, pride of Inglewood, Calif., in the scene where Bobby knocks over the milkshake. I'd know those booths and that faux rock facade anywhere. They superimposed in the background an image of a drive-in theater. But make no mistake, that was the genuine '50s era diner that sits at the corner where La Cienega and La Tijera boulevards meet. And they do have damn goodmilkshakes.
More after I think about it all some more ...